This collection of essays, a companion volume to the book, Twentieth-Century Lutheran Theologians (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), examines important nineteenth-century figures from the perspective of contemporary European and North-American scholars. Each essay provides an overview of the life and central ideas of a key Lutheran/Protestant theologian who has had a significant impact on theological reflection down to the present. The focus here is on those thinkers who were active between 1799 (the year when Schleiermacher's Speeches appeared) and the First World War. These are individuals who deserve repeated examination, whose insights are still worth pondering today, and whose theological positions help us to understand better "where contemporary theology has come from" (Karl Barth). All of the essays were initiated by the journal Lutheran Quarterly in order to assess our theological heritage as we move further into a new millennium. The goal of the authors, each a leading theologian, has been to describe a given thinker's life and vocation and how that person's work continues to impact theology today.
Matthew L. Becker is associate professor of theology at the University of Valparaiso.